(Editor's note: All the deals mentioned in this post have expired. Search all vacations to find the most current money-saving deals to top beach locations.)
You've got the time off work. You know you want to spend your vacation in some hot, tropical corner of the world, where the water is clear and the sand is endless. But you only have so much money. We know—we get it. You need a deal. And that's why we've compiled these 6 amazing beach vacations with starting rates under $600.
A few notes: Keep in mind that price listed are for particular departure cities - click through to search from your home city and see prices. Also, remember to factor in flights to get to a cruise's departure port, which aren't listed in the prices below. We've chosen cruises under $400, though, so with the right flight deal you might still find yourself under $600.
1. $499+ Dominican Republic: Air + 4 Nights at All-Inclusive Resort
The Dominican Republic is known for its year-round balmy temperatures and coastlines packed with gorgeous beaches. For those looking to maximize the savings, check out this Punta Cana package from CheapCaribbean, which includes airfare and 4 nights in a beachfront all-inclusive resort.
$569+ $649+ Riviera Maya/Tulum: Air + 5 Nights at Super-Tranquil All-Inclusive
Note: The price for this deal has increased to $649 from $569 since this article was first published.
If you're not in tune with Tulum, let us wise you up: it's a low-key beach resort area known for eco-friendly establishments, a laid-back vibe, and majestic Mayan ruins towering over the coastline. For the ultimate in beach serenity, choose this 5-night flight and hotel package deal, which includes a stay at the super-chill Grand Oasis Tulum all-inclusive resort.
3. $549+ U.S. Virgin Islands: Air + 4 Nights in St. Thomas - No Passport Needed
OK, so those of you without a passport might be feeling a little glum about the two previous deals. This one's just for you: Airfare + 4 nights at the Marriott Frenchman's Reef Resort in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Skip the whole passport route and just get to the beach as quick as you can.
No meals are included in this package, but the property overlooks the ocean and has an infinity pool, an on-site spa and seven restaurants to choose from.
4. $189+ Bahamas Weekend Cruise: 3-Nights to Nassau from Port Canaveral
Here's an idea. Skip work on Thursday and Friday and take a long weekend cruise to dreamy Nassau, the largest city in the Bahamas and one of its most popular cruise ports. The best rates for this Carnival cruise can be found for January departures, so you have some time to figure out how you'll get to Port Canaveral near Orlando, the ship's departure point.
5. $359+ Ensenada, Mexico: 3-Night Cruise from Los Angeles
If you've got three nights available in January, consider this 3-night Mexico cruise to Ensenada from LA. Located in Baja California, Ensenada is a coastal town known for mild weather, vineyards and a mountainous backdrop. You'll spend an entire day in port exploring this charming town.
6. $299+ Merida – Cozumel: 5-Night Mexico Cruise from Galveston
Reduced by 73%, this 5-night Mexico cruise from Galveston hits up two areas: Cozumel, surrounded by the clear waters of the Caribbean sea, and Progreso, a coastal town not far from Merida, the capital of the state of Yucatán. It departs January 30, just about the time when most of us are fed up with frigid temperatures.